Labour pulled the Government back to the House of Commons today to answer series questions over what they intend to do next week with the third meaningful vote and the Statutory Instrument – the measure needed to change our departure date from the EU.
I pointed out to the Minister, that outside of Westminster their are people trying to plan their lives and organise their businesses but can’t because of the utter confusion at the heart of government.
The response was not reassuring at all. The Minister talked of ‘hopes’ and ‘intends’ but could give us a date. That’s all we wanted and that is all people want across the country.
The contempt being shown to Parliament and the people is negligence in the highest order. The next seven days are going to be the most important in modern UK history and it is time our Government acted in the national interest and not in its own.
Recently, the EU signed the biggest free trade deal in history between Japan and itself. For the last few remaining days we remain members of the EU we will benefit from it. However, if we crash out we lose access to the free trade agreement.
Earlier on in the questioning, my colleagues asked if the Trade Secretary expects us to have exactly the same benefits of this trade deal when we leave the EU, he answered no but stated that we would join the Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership which he said was a much better deal.
I asked the Minister how long he thought it would take for us to try and join this trade group. The answer? Eight long years. This is eight years of lost economic growth, eight year of loss for potential new jobs and eight years of standing on the sidelines whilst other nations rush ahead of us.
Before the vote tonight I got my opportunity to give my response to the Withdrawal Agreement.
I set out my reasons for my vote and how I will continue to fight for the rights, jobs and prosperity of our constituency.
We need to bring the country back together. It can be done and I hope the UK Government will work with me and my colleagues to ensure that we stop separating each other by how we voted over two years ago and instead see that we have more in common than we do that divides us.
The US Government has threatened to impose a tariff to our steel A pause in the imposition of the tariff has been negotiated by the European Union but I wanted to know what the UK Government is doing to ensure the US knows that the 15% of all UK steel sent to America should be permanently exempt from any tariff.
The Secretary of State pointed out the flawed thinking of the US – as much of the steel we produce is of high quality and not made in the States or is used for their defence programmes. But this comes from the same Secretary of State who has promised everyone that he can secure the best trade deal ever imagined between the UK and US. He is proving this is not as easy as he first predicted.